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Church administration training may seem like an expense that isn’t worth it, but there is a larger topic at hand when we talk about church administration and training for church admin work.

We need to wrestle with the fact that, as it is with many churches, our church administrators are not typically trained to work with christian ministry specifically, and not even necessarily non-profit trained. (As an aside - there are some excellent training resources available in this year's slate of church tech conferences!) Yet there are a lot of specifics that go into church administration that can’t be overlooked.

In my years in ministry, I was lucky enough to work with an administrator who valued church administration training. She was constantly interested in learning the most effective systems, addressing issues before they became problems, and taking a role in daily affairs beyond her scope of work.

In the end, it made a huge difference. We had to hire a replacement after she left, and you could tell the difference between someone who was interested in secretarial work and someone who was interested in the ministry of church administration.

In this article, I will discuss why church administration training is vital for the life of your church and congregation and then give my top three church admin training options for a variety of budgets. 

I’ll cover:
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Why Church Administration Training Is Important?

If you are in a position of church leadership, then giving careful consideration to the type of training your church administrator has should be a top priority.

Think of it like this: you spend ample amounts of time ensuring that your pastors and other church leaders are well equipped for their job. Yet, we don't often spend the time to do the same for our administrators.

You probably don't give it a second thought when taking into account leadership training, but having a certified church administrator likely isn't something you have considered.

Reframe the conversation like this: your church staff likely includes a teaching pastor, a youth pastor, or a children's pastor into whom you will invest time, energy, and finances for leadership training.

Yet these church staff members aren't the ones who will balance the checkbooks, create SOPs (standard operating procedures), organize mailers and emails, or a host of other things.

Investing in church administration training will help your administrator understand the church business side of the local church that the rest of your staff doesn't know. The rest of the church staff have considerations like pastoral ministry and pastoral counseling to be concerned about instead.

When you invest in the church administration training of your administrative assistant, you are really investing in the spiritual formation of your congregation!

3 Best Church Administration Training Programs

With this new mindset, you can start to decide what type of training would be the best fit for your local church, your church board, and your church secretary.

Having taken a look at some of the best church admin courses and certifications on the internet, there are 3 contenders that fit a variety of budgets, congregation sizes, and specific church management needs.

1. Smart Church Management

christian administration training by Smart Church Management
Smart Church Management offers the best bang-for-your-buck church administration training.

Smart Church Management has a church administration training that sits firmly within the middle-of-the-road option. It has a cost that is completely reasonable and doable for any church congregation, while also packing in a ton of great leader training, HR training, and finance management training.

This particular training comes with three options: Student, Professional, and Bundle.

The Student package costs $99 and grants 12 months of access to all the course work. The Professional package costs $199 and includes a course book to go along with the training, as well as lifetime access to the training.

Lastly, the Bundle Package costs $299 and packs a ton more value with exclusive access to resources like job descriptions, HR documents, and volunteer orientation training templates.

The Smart Church Management training can be finished in a few months. The course sessions with homework are sent via email every 2 days, but you have access to those trainings for as long as you have purchased access (either 12 months or lifetime).

There are no prerequisites for this church administration training and it offers tons of valuable information and lessons without costing thousands of dollars. It is also one of the highest rated courses out there.

2. Graduate Certificate from North Park University Chicago

North Park University graduate certificate of church administration training
North Park University Chicago offers one of the highest quality church administration training courses available online.

North Park University Chicago offers a Graduate Certificate for Church Administration that is on the higher end in terms of cost, but delivers some high quality training at a collegiate level of professional training.

This Graduate Certificate program doesn't specify prerequisites in terms of education, but the overall cost is $1,240 per credit. The entire certification program takes 10 credit hours to complete.

The course can be taken 100% online but, if you are local to North Park University, you can attend in-person classes as well. Best of all, they offer plenty of grants and scholarships for students that can help cut the cost.

For those church administrators who want to work towards a Master's degree, this certification has the benefit of building towards that goal while also getting hyper-focused training on what you need as a leader within the administrative areas of your church.

This program can be completed in 12 months, part time. This makes the list because of how esteemed the Graduate Certificate is for those who might be church members moving into a church administrator role as well as church leadership who want to take on more church management responsibilities.

3. Christian Leaders College: Christian Enterprise Course

church administration training provided for free by Christian Leaders College
Christian Leaders College provides free courses for all areas of ministry, and a combination of these courses makes some of the best church administration training available—free of charge.

While not strictly a church administration course, Christian Leaders College offers some top-tier collegiate courses that are 100% free. A combination of these courses cover everything a church administrator would need. All you have to do is create an account, enroll in the course, and complete the coursework at your own pace.

Once you have an account set up, you can complete all courses online and even work towards certification and accreditation if you so choose. There is a fee for taking these accrediting exams, but taking the course without earning college credits is completely free thanks to the contributions of generous donors.

If you want to take your church administration training seriously but don't have the financial resources to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars, then this is our best free pick for church administration training!

Do What You Feel Called To Do

Managing the pastoral care of your congregation, along with keeping church leadership organized, can feel like a full-time job. Being able to entrust administrative duties to a well-trained church staff member frees you up to do what you were called to do: love people and show them the love of Jesus Christ.

Learn more about church administration here, and check out the latest church administration software for further help streamlining your church’s admin processes.

Dylan Miller
By Dylan Miller

Dylan Scott Miller grew up in Southern Indiana surrounded by family who faithfully followed Jesus to the best of their abilities. But it wasn’t until high school that Dylan decided to “All In” and then began studying and preparing for youth ministry. Dylan graduated with a Bachelor’s in Youth Ministry and minored in Biblical Languages, and has served in both paid and volunteer roles for organizations like Youth Ministry Booster, National Network of Youth Ministries, and even as a Student Ministries Pastor for 4 years in a local church in Columbus, Ohio.